The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to open land borders that have been closed, in honour of Charles Kormi Kudjordji, the late founder and leader of secessionist group, the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF).
Mr. Kudjordi also known as Papavi, has always been in favour of a non-violent push for part of the country including Volta and Oti regions to be made an autonomous state known as Western Togoland.
He died at his residence in the early hours of Saturday, October 16, 2021.
In a tribute to the octogenarian, Mr. Ablakwa said, although he didn’t and couldn’t have supported the campaign for Western Togoland secession, there was no doubt that the separatist leader was particularly passionate about the transformation of the Volta Region.
He thus wants the borders re-opened in remembrance of Mr. Kudordji to boost economic activities in the Volta region.
“It is, therefore, my hope and expectation that fallible as all men are, Papavi’s positive side — which was his unwavering commitment to see a more developed Volta Region despite the frailty of old age would be honoured by an immediate presidential directive from Nana Akufo-Addo to open all our land borders.”
“This will bring to an end more than a year of economic tribulations of our compatriots leaving in border communities across the country,” Mr. Ablakwa suggested.
The 86-year-old was recently arrested and arraigned in connection with the supposed independence declaration in October 2019.
Despite the foundation’s non-violent stance, attacks on police stations and roadblocks in the Volta Region on September 25, 2020, as well as the raid and torching of buses at the Ho State Transport Corporation yard have been attributed to it.
But the MP has pleaded with Ghanaians to overlook the wrongs of Papavi and focus on his commitment to see development in the Volta Region.
“Papavi may as well be remembered for his attempts to have us divided when he was alive, the President has it in his power to use the memory of Papavi’s loss to cement our national unity and end the policy of discrimination between air travellers and land travellers as all ECOWAS member states have done”, the MP added.
President Akufo-Addo in March 2020 ordered the closure of the country’s borders as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The land borders have only been allowing the passage of cargo.
The Presidency has said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will soon announce a decision on the current closure of the country’s borders after consultations with the COVID-19 National Response Team.